Shooters Hill Golf Club is about a 20 minute drive from central London (traffic permitting). Surrounded by tranquil woodland accompanied by the sound of bleating sheep, Shooters Hill manages achieve a rural feel while encompassing many of the features that makes playing Golf in South East London such an special and accessible experience.
020 8854 6368
Lowood, Eaglesfield Rd, London SE18 3DA
Shooters Hill Golf Club is an area which is unique is many ways. Located in the historical borough of Royal Greenwich reputably the name Shooters Hill dates backs to the Middle ages when longbowmen used to practice their aim before heading to war.
Before you start to equate the analogy, middle aged men practicing shooting a ball down a fairway, it’s also worth baring in mind that part of the golf course is also where many highwaymen were said to have met their grisly end. Robbers were left to rot in the gallows mounted in “Gibbit field” by the old Roman road near the 5th tee, a gory warning to those wishing to follow in the footsteps of the likes of the likes of Brockley Jack who plied their trade along the busy route from Kent to old London Town.
Like its surroundings Shooters Hill Golf Club is steeped in tradition. This is a beautiful course, the views from the fairways over looking Kent are spectacular, the greens are a treat to play, this is an expertly looked after and exceptionally well managed golf course. The beautiful Edwardian clubhouse building overlooks an immaculate practice green is a welcoming sight.
It isn’t difficult to find this golf course, with an elevation of 129 metres above sea level, a short drive from the A2, Shooters Hill is prominently visible from all over London. The course car park is situated in among the wooded area bordering the course which forms part of some of the most ancient forests in England.
My welcome in the pro-shop was warm, and after the formality of signing the visitors book and picking up my scorecard, I was on my way.
It’s a fairly gentle start to Shooters Hill Golf Club, a slight dogleg right on the first and similar on the second though ever-so-slightly more downhill. As you would expect with a course laid out around this magnificently elevated location, this is a physically demanding eighteen holes; however the first 6 holes are deceptively easy going. I liked the 4th, a beautiful a dogleg left with some awkward trees located on the left that made shot selection a difficult decision, one of those holes I wanted to play again as soon as I’d played it if only to try a long high draw shot I wish I had the guts to play the first time.
There are a couple of devilish little tees, the 10th and 11th are brilliant short holes with the 11th being an elevated green well protected by bunkers. Thankfully this is also where the halfway house is located. The hole that will certainly be difficult to erase from your memory is the 13th, I have to admit, I stood on the tee and couldn’t help letting out a little laugh, it’s an absolute beast of a hole; long and incredibly steep. The club website states “A steep uphill second requires more than the yardage suggests”, this is a lovely exercise in understatement; prepare yourself for a good physical challenge.
It’s my good fortune that Shooters Hill Golf Club is more or less on my commute route to work so I have every intention of revisiting this course again. Perhaps one minor suggestion as a first time visitor, I had difficulty finding the next hole sometimes as there’s no signage indicating where the tees are, I did get a little lost sometimes a yardage book would have been useful. Around the course you will have to negotiate hills in some form or another, making this an entertainingly difficult 18 holes. This is a course that you really do have to take on, the challenges are many and fortune favors the brave, skillful and imaginative golfer.
Shooters Hill Golf Club is a beautiful place to be, close enough to central London and literally over looking Kent, bordering ancient woods and farms, a great day out. I do think, however, sufferers of heart conditions should consult their cardiologist before attempting some of these fairways. There are a couple of holes on this course I would include on my must play holes in South East London, Shooters Hill is well worth a visit.